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Jacob Olson

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment
Jacob  Olson Profile Image
Taken November 1871 at his second wedding.
Photo courtesy of his great-great granddaughter, Connie Julien.

Database Record Change Request

Name at Enlist

Jacob Olson

Birth Name

ca. 1830 – 27 Nov 1897

Resident of Muster-In

Freeborn County, MN

Company at Enlistment


Rank at Enlistment


Muster Date

11 Feb 1862

Death Location

Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County, SD

Burial Location

Prairie Queen Cemetery, near Nunda in Summit Township, Lake County, SD


Anna Hansdatter

Spouse Lived

circa 1835-1870

2nd Spouse

Olena Thomasdatter Helgerson

2nd Spouse Lived


2nd Marriage Date

17 Nov 1871

2nd Marriage Location

Freeborn County, MN

Jacob Olson was enlisted in Company K of the 15th WI by Captain Mons Grinager on December 10, 1861 for a 3-year term of service. The men of the company┬ácalled themselves “Clausen’s Guards” in honor of the 15th’s first Chaplain, Claus L. Clausen. Jacob was mustered into Federal service at the rank of Private (Menig) on February 11, 1862 at Camp Randall near Madison, Dane County, WI. At the time he was listed as 31 years old and married (with 4 children). His residence was recorded as Freeborn County, MN.

After only a few weeks at Camp Randall learning to be a soldier, Private Olson left there on March 2, 1862 with his company and regiment to join the war. From then until August 1862, he was listed as “present” with the 15th. As such he would have participated in the successful siege of Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River in TN and the surprise raid on Union City, TN in March and April 1862.

On June 11, 1862, Company K and 7 of the 10 companies in the 15th regiment left Island No. 10 to go on campaign through TN, MS, and AL. On that date Private Olson was noted as being “sick.” He was left behind at Island No. 10 to recover, but his health continued to deteriorate. That summer Private Olson was determined to be “unfit for service” and on August 16, 1862, he was honorably discharged from the Army at Island No. 10 due to disability.

A few years after returning from the 15th, Jacob and his first wife had their fifth child. Their children were: Clara; Lena, born November 13, 1855; Ole, born June 7, 1858; Hilda, born March 13, 1861; and Berthena, born October 8, 1866. Jacob’s first wife passed away some 4 years after the birth of their last child. The next year Jacob married the widow of Peder Helgesen (Jacob and Peder had served together in Company K). Together Jacob and his second wife raised their combined 8 children.


Sources: Genealogical data from Jacob Olson’s great great granddaughter Connie Julien; Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers] by Ole A. Buslett (Decorah, Iowa, 1894); Regimental Descriptive Rolls, Volume 20, Office of the Adjutant General, State of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin, 1885); and, Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, Volume I, Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin, 1886).